So it’s the middle of the last week of the penultimate term and so by my reckoning I’ve got about 15 weeks to go before all the work needs to be completed and in place. This, along with last week’s tutorial, has really switched me onto thinking about the exhibition and two questions:
1) What should I present?
2) How should I present it?
At the moment I have two books which I see as offering viewers a resolved body of work that constitutes a discourse pertaining to my experience of paralysis. So is that it? Should I just show these at the final exhibition?
I don’t think so. I undertook this MA as a way of providing me with a structure upon which to experiment and build. Thus far I have experimented with books, websites and exhibition materials for the Interim and pop up shows as well as shown work at Shape’s Open exhibition.
I also have some experience of presenting work. My first degree involved both printed submissions as well as digital online ones and I have mounted an exhibition along with collages at Bank Street Arts in Sheffield. This experience has been invaluable. For example, logistical issues and deciding things like how to mount work can have a big impact on both budget and evocation.
One interesting thing that happened was that my images were hung about 20cm lower than the standard height. This was done on purpose so that visitors would become aware of the difference and think about it without it fully handicapping their viewing pleasure. However when my colleagues (who were carrying out the hanging for me) visited the next morning the gallery staff had rehung all the work thinking that it had been a mistake!
So here I have outlined some options that will exploit the time left on the MA and allow me to experiment with production values.
Option 1: the body of work exhibited
This option would involve creating images that speak to each of the following sections.
- My Body
- My Health
- My Kit
- My Home
- My Street
- My Country
- My Experience
- My Community
- My Dreams
- My Feelings
- Your Rules: My response
- Our Words
I have enough time to produce the material so the question is will I have the space and funds available?
Option 2: still the body of work exhibited
Another avenue would be to challenge conventional perspectives through a conceptual approach where the imagery is not placed on walls but rather applied to different exhibits. Imagine this scenario.
- A room with a door with a conventional disabled sign on it where the room itself is populated with usual materials eg
- Table chair and table cloth, place mats; sofa, cushions bags, faux birthday card, wallpaper, photos on wall, calendar, a washing stand with t shirts on it, a kitchen sink with mugs on it, a bin with screwed up images in it, a faux magazine and newspaper on a coffee table cover with imagery
All the imagery on these items would be taken from my body of work with viewers invited to sit down and view the books.
Option 3: orientating people to the body of work in the book
In this option I would take review the body of work as presented in the book and then consider selecting a much smaller range of images to make the point about the various levels of experience involved in paralysis. For example I could select one image were chapter and present them. But would this work as the way my books work is through the resonance created as much between the images as from within them?
Option 4: taking a wholly different approach
Another option would be to present another aspect of the work. Focusing on process say – where I could present each of the draft and final books for viewers to see and consider the different connotations. This has some mileage for a variety of reasons: I have the books and so costs would be limited; and the approach would show process and outcome. However it wouldn’t really stretch me anymore and could underuse the remaining time I have left on this course.
Option 5: I could present my work through a video
Of course I could present my work on video – say via a looped presentation. This should be both cost effective and comprehensive.
I am sure there are other options but that’s all I can think of just now. I need to get on and decide which one to take and think the best thing is to play with some ideas in a little more depth and then see where I am and what really grabs me.